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Kratos: The Successor To Ariane IV


New Kratos Design  

9 members have voted

  1. 1. What design should I go with

    • Ariane 5/6 style launcher with SRBs and only one or two core engines
    • Soyuz style launcher with tapering first stage + SRBs

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The Successor to Ariane IV


Kratos ahead of her maiden flight

Kratos is the newest launch vehicle developed and operated by Arianespace for the European Space Agency (ESA). Kratos will begin operations in 1991, and replace the Ariane IV. The Kratos-S (Standard) variant can carry up to 21 Metric Tons to LEO. For more demanding missions to further out destinations, such as a probe, the variant Kratos-E (Expanded) is available. The Kratos-E  features a 3rd stage called "Loki"

Named after the God of power; Kratos represents the strength, might and power of ESA. With a new launch capabilty, ESA aims to become a strong force in the launch market.

Both Launchers have a long and short fairing variant, identified by an 'S' or 'L' following the Kratos type. For example:

'Kratos-SS' A standard Kratos with a short fairing

'Kratos-EL' An expanded Kratos with a long fairing

The system was designed as an expendable heavy-lift space launch vehicle. Standing 68m tall and 5.4m wide, it is comparable to Atlas V, Ariane 5 and Proton rocket. The system is powered by hydrogen and oxygen.

Now for the stats:

First Stage: 10 Vulcain 2 engines with a combined thrust of 13590kN and a burn time of 103s.

Second Stage: 6 HM7B engines with a combined thrust of 373.2kN and a burn time of 361s.

Third Stage (Loki): 1 HM7B engine with a thrust of 62.2kN and a burn time of 748 s.

This new launch vehicle features a more modern look than the previous Ariane rockets. Sleek white with the classic blue ESA colour for accents.



This new launch vehicle is soon to hit the market and the launch pad too. And for the first time, you the readers will have a say in its future career...

You can book a flight to launch your own mission on Kratos. As long as the mission is 1) Based in the real world 2) possible and plausible, I will launch it for free and make its own post on this forum. This idea allows me to share the magic of good looking rockets and ksp images to people who maybe cannot do it themselves. It also gives me something to launch, I'm tired of ore tanks lol :) 

So send me your missions, I can't wait to make them!

Book here!

PS: By the way, I go to school so getting the missions out could be a couple of days, or a couple of weeks, just depends how busy i am.

PS PS: Timeline of launches is not chronological, could jump from 1995 to 2012


Mission List


(In order of upload)

MISO-Pathfinder - 1992 Done.

KITKAP - 1995 Done.

Red Orb-1 - 2024 In development.

SHINE - 2004 In development.

Kinetic Orbital Bombardment Systems - 2024 Planned.

ArcLight - 2022 Planned.

ESA-MORS - 2013 Planned.

JWST - 2021 Planned.

KOS - 2022 Planned.

LISDR - 2013 Planned.



Edited by Jacktical
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  • 1 month later...

Mars International Surveillance Orbiter (MISO) & Pathfinder - 25 September 1992

Mission by @lemon cup


In 1990, several major world powers have created the International Mars Committee. Its goal is to build a sustainable, large scale Mars mission architecture, with the first crew landing taking place before the year 2000.

Hundreds of tons of hardware and propellant must be launched and landed on the surface. But before this can happen, the committee must select a landing sight. The Mars International Surveillance Orbiter (MISO) and the Pathfinder Lander will be launched together to accomplish this.

MISO has a slew of advanced instruments designed to study the Martian terrain from orbit and find evidence of sub-surface water ice in the northern latitudes. Once teams have analysed the data, a site will be selected to deorbit Pathfinder, whereupon it will touch down and begin collecting data for future landings.

NASA JPL and Ames Research Center's submitted an official launch request  in 1991, before beginning construction of the probes.


(MISO-Pathfinder in the White Room, May 1991)

--------------------------------------------OFFCIAL LAUNCH REQUEST-------------------------------------------------

On behalf of NASA JPL, and Ames Research Center. We hereby request the services of Arianespace for the launch and delivery of the MISO/Pathfinder payload to the desired orbit. -The payload must be launched into Low Earth Orbit on or close to September 25th, 1992 in order to make the upcoming Mars Transfer Window. It is preferred that LEO orbit is at or near the plane of the ecliptic (23.5 degrees) to maximize launch efficiency. -The launch vehicle third stage must provide all of the energy needed to attain Trans-Mars Injection. The payload's solid rocket stage motors may not be used until arrival at Mars. -All payload solar arrays and antennas must remain stowed until after arrival at Mars. These structures were not designed to withstand G-forces of solid motor firing while deployed, and will be damaged if deployed early. -The launch vehicle third stage must make as accurate of a TMI maneuver as possible. The payload has some small directional thrusters to fine tune the trajectory, but a large correction burn is not possible after separation from the third stage. Following separation from the launch vehicle, NASA Mission Control in Houston will assume control of the payload.




Two engineering cameras allow the effects of launch on the probes to be studied:








Kratos lifts off at 11:31 AM from ELA-2 at Centre Spatial Guyanais, Kourou, French Guiana 


















Loki has finished its burn, putting MISO-Pathfinder on a trans-Mars injection. Separation happens after 2 hours ,once systems have been tested and confirmed operational.


MISO-Pathfinder coasts for the next 221 days.


We have arrived.


The IUS will be used at periapsis to place the pair of probes into a highly elliptical polar orbit.




The two probes are separated. MISO will now carry on on its own and place itself into a circular orbit around 700km in altitude. 

Pathfinder will use the second IUS motor to place itself on a course for mars reentry, using as much as the thin atmosphere as possible to slow the lander down.


The solar arrays and communication antenna are deployed 4 minutes after separation.


MISO uses its propulsion system in a 16 minute burn to circularize.


The propulsion system is discarded once final orbit is achieved, allowing deployment of the magnetometer boom and other experiments.


MISO will begin operations after 5 days of communication and instrument testing.



The main imager maps the surface.


The secondary scanner searches for frozen water .

After 2 weeks of careful observation,  the Utopia Plantitia in the northeast hemisphere  was selected as the landing zone for Pathfinder, it is due to touchdown in the coming weeks.


Pathfinder coming soon...

Edited by Jacktical
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Can’t say enough how you totally nailed this, it is everything I hoped it to be. Kratos did a magnificent job carrying this mission :cool:

Thanks again @Jacktical

I’ll have a thread soon with more stuff like this and first up will be the Pathfinder landing, I’ll be back here to post the highlights!

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6 hours ago, Maria Sirona said:

Hello @Jacktical! I just wanted to say that this is an awesome idea, and that i really love it! Also the Kratos looks a lot like the Proton. Did they get some licenses from the russians? Also, i submitted a request to you about a Mars probe called Red Orb-1

I hope they got licensing lol :) Can't wait to start Red Orb-1 btw.

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  • 4 weeks later...

2004 Upgrades


In 2004, Kratos would receive upgrades to improve performance and capability. The changes are as follows.

/A reduction of fairing weight

/A more aerodynamic fairing to improve stability through max-Q

/Improved Van Gogh engines providing additional thrust and increased isp at higher altitudes


Any launch after May 4 2004 will have the upgrades

Edited by Jacktical
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KITKAP (Kerbin Internet Transmission and Kerbin Aerial Photography) - 27 May 1995

Mission by @Aussie Toad Stool


Daedalus Aerospace Solutions was secretly contracted by the Krussian Space Défense to create a satellite testbed for their Denial of Orbit Device. Launching under the cover of a low orbit photography and communications satellite, It Has a designed Lifespan of 10 years before deorbiting


Kratos lifts off at 12:14 PM from ELA-2 at Centre Spatial Guyanais, Kourou, French Guiana







The upper stage is ignited before first stage separation in a method called hotstaging, similarly to the Soyuz Rocket.



"Fairing separation confirmed"





Payload separation is confirmed at T+27 minutes, just over the coast of Africa



The cover for the Space Lase- I mean telescope is jettisoned 5 days later and the satellite begins operations.


I hope you have enjoyed.



Happy Rollout Day!


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  • 4 weeks later...
3 hours ago, AmateurAstronaut1969 said:

Honestly, I love the design of Kratos, it’s really cool, one of the best custom vehicles I’ve seen in KSP - seriously!

Thanks alot :) 

Next mission should be out soon enough btw 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey Ik its probably a pain to all those waiting, but I've got my school exams coming up and for the next month I've got to study everyday so I don't have much time to do things. BUT after that I have a free 6 weeks where I'm gonna get all the missions out of the way :) 

Edited by Jacktical
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1 hour ago, Jacktical said:

Hey Ik its probably a pain to all those waiting, but I've got my school exams coming up and for the next two weeks I've got to study everyday so I don't have much time to do things. BUT after that I have a free 6 weeks where I'm gonna get all the missions out of the way :) 

I'm currently in the middle of exams, I get your pain. At least we have summer break after all of the suffering.

Edited by Autochrome
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  • 4 weeks later...

Alright so redesigning Kratos for upcoming launches has had its...issues

Having such a large hydrolox first stage like the proton doesn't work very well so it can't even get to orbit :/

So should I either make a more Ariane 5/6 style launcher with SRBs and only one or two core engines


Soyuz style launcher with tapering first stage + SRBs

I will put a poll up :) 


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14 hours ago, Jacktical said:

one or two core engines

Two engines then please, it looks cooler

Also, R-7 style is more appropriate, as the Soyuz is only one of the soviet/russian R-7 based rockets.

Edited by Maria Sirona
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